Sweet nothings: Home bakers whip up and deliver delights amid lockdown – Hindustan Times

Restaurant News

The lockdown is here to continue, but that doesn’t stop quarantine celebrations, most of which are incomplete without a cake. The question here is, how to source a cake in these times, for your loved ones?

Arjun Krishnan, a Delhi-based lawyer, who had been struggling to find a birthday cake for his mother, recalls, “Just about the time when lockdown 2.0 was imposed in Delhi. There were a lot of apprehensions when it came to ordering food from outside. Also, at that time, many bakers and bakeries weren’t delivering to East of Kailash, where I live, and my mother’s birthday was approaching. So I had to be sure of both the quality and availability of an epic cake!”

The baking warrior who came to Krishnan’s rescue was Sakshi Chugh from House Of Pie. Krishnan adds, “She personally delivered a dark chocolate cake as per my request; while maintaining social distancing, of course! This gesture was extremely sweet and the cake was basked to absolute perfection. Definitely one for the books.”

Amid a lot of restrictions on popular bakeries, the Capital’s home bakers, who either run their businesses from their home kitchens or brick and mortar stores, are ensuring that the oven keeps going. Nothing has been able to stop them from whipping up delights for people in quarantine. In fact, some are going an extra mile to ensure that celebrations in quarantine don’t miss out on that special cake for that special day.

“We don’t create those typical 1kg or 2kg cakes; our cakes are tall with all sorts of fun edible toppings, which makes delivery via bikes impossible! So, every order is delivered personally by car…” — Sakshi Chugh, home baker

Chugh, a home baker who specialises in customised indulgent cakes, talks about how the demand for cakes has risen, during the lockdown, but her inability to commute has caused a shortage in supply from her end. “We don’t create those typical 1kg or 2kg cakes; our cakes are tall with all sorts of fun edible toppings, which makes delivery via bikes impossible! So, every order is delivered personally by car, and that’s why the lockdown has affected our sales because committing for every delivery is difficult. With a minimum of 4 to 5 cakes a day, now we’re delivering four times a week,in and around certain parts of south Delhi,’’ adds Chugh, who is delivering at the doorstep to eliminate the risk of contagion during the lockdown.

Kishneet Sethi’s Sugar Loft has introduced a special Lockdown Menu.

Kishneet Sethi’s Sugar Loft has introduced a special Lockdown Menu.

Most home bakers have tried to align with the current demand and have been trying their hand at new ways to ensure a regular supply of orders. Kishneet Sethi, from Safdarjung Enclave, who has grown her baking business Sugar Loft by leaps and bounds over the last six years, has introduced a special Lockdown Menu. “I thought of this time as a learning period and I started baking with healthier ingredients. We’re not doing elaborate things or desserts that can easily melt since the weather is only getting warmer and we don’t want to cause any trouble to the delivery guy as well.’’ It has certainly paid off for Sethi, who has now managed to stabilise the demand and supply chain.

Nidhi Bahl, who has baked and supplied about a dozen birthday and anniversary cakes from her kitchen Indulgence Cakery, since lockdown, is thankful to have stocked up on the essentials well in advance. “I had to still cancel large orders eventually,” says Bahl, adding, “Thankfully, it’s just me on the workstation so there has been no loss. I have had to make changes but have developed new and innovative recipes during this lockdown due to limited resources and it has been a good learning experience.”

“Our vendors are doing no contact deliveries, but due to the heavy demand there is a long wait for the same.” — Aditi Sahdev, home baker

Home bakers in Delhi-NCR actually have been struggling with bottlenecks in deliveries, and sourcing of raw materials has also been a tough task. To keep herself going, Chugh had to cut down on “customisation and certain flavours that could not be procured during the quarantine”. And Aditi Sahdev, who runs Dessert Studio in Delhi’s Civil Lines, rues about her initial inability to source basic items due to people indulging in panic buying. But she agrees that the situation has certainly improved in the last few days. “Slowly with a few easements in lockdown, we have been able to procure groceries from our old vendors whom we have been working with from the start. Our vendors are doing no contact deliveries, but due to the heavy demand there is a long wait for the same,’’ says Sahdev.

Aditi Sahdev, at her workstation, as she is operating from home during the lockdown.

Aditi Sahdev, at her workstation, as she is operating from home during the lockdown.

Most of the home bakers are ensuring no contact delivery of food, gloves, hair nets are a must in the kitchen at all times, apart from reducing the number of people involved in the whole baking process. Sahdev’s studio is providing contactless deliveries or pickups, which range between four to six every day. Sahdev is staying positive, hoping they’ll emerge stronger from this catastrophe. She has curated a basic menu which promotes local vendors but still manages to satiate dessert cravings. “We predict that this quarantine period is going to promote home bakers a lot more as people are more assured about where and whom their food is coming from and they also have lower overheads due to no rent and other commercial expenses, which is a major boon in the current economic climate,’ she says.

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Source: Thanks https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/sweet-nothings-home-bakers-whip-up-and-deliver-delights-amid-lockdown/story-TWrXPwHw4OQenidCYMNqEM.html